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Rooney and Hernandez rescue United against Stoke

updated 6:43 PM EDT, Sat October 26, 2013
Heading in the right direction? Javier Hernandez scores Manchester United's winner against Stoke City.
Heading in the right direction? Javier Hernandez scores Manchester United's winner against Stoke City.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Manchester United make heavy weather of win against Stoke City at Old Trafford
  • League leaders Arsenal beat Crystal Palae 2-0; Liverpool thrash West Brom 4-1
  • Chelsea take on Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday

(CNN) -- Manchester United fans are used to dramatic finishes, but not against Stoke City at Old Trafford.

Alex Ferguson's recently published autobiography maybe full of tales of derring-do against more illustrious opposition, but these are wildly different days at United at present.

United were a goal down inside five minutes when Jonny Evans attempted clearance rebounded off Peter Crouch and past David De Gea.

Robin van Persie calmed United nerves with an equalizer two minutes before the break but the relief was short-lived when Marko Arnautovic restored Stoke's lead moments later with a well-executed free kick.

And that's how it stayed until the 78th minute before Wayne Rooney came to the rescue with a header to bring United level before Javier Hernandez scored the winner two minutes later.

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The 3-2 win eases the pressure on David Moyes and keeps United, who have 14 points from nine matches, in touching distance of the league leaders Arsenal.

Arsene Wenger's side dispatched bottom-of-the-table Crystal Palace 2-0 at Selhurst Park in the day's early kick-off.

The Premier League newboys, who are currently without a manager after Ian Holloway's resignation in midweek, were on equal terms after a competitive first half but Mikel Arteta's 47th minute penalty gave the away side a deserved lead.

The Spanish international was later red-carded for a professional foul on former Gunners forward Marouane Chamakh, but Arsenal made sure of the three points when Olivier Giroud headed in Aaron Ramsey's deftly chipped cross.

The win keeps Arsene Wenger's side two points clear at the top of the table with 22 points from nine games.

Liverpool move up to second after thrashing West Bromwich Albion 4-1 at Anfield. Luis Suarez got the Merseysiders off to a flier with goals in the 12th minute and 17th minute before completing his hat-trick 10 minutes after the break.

James Morrison pulled one back for West Brom when he converted from the penalty spot in the 66th minute, but hopes of a comeback were extinguished 11 minutes later when Daniel Sturridge scored a delightful fourth, chipping the ball over goalkeeper Boaz Myhill.

Everton's superb early season continued with 2-0 away win against Aston Villa. Romelu Lukaku scored his fifth goal of the season in the 68th minute before Leon Osman doubled the lead 13 minutes later.

The Toffees' fifth win in six league games sees them leapfrog Chelsea to go fourth.

Jose Mourniho's men can return to second in the table if they beat Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Southampton's good form also continued with a comfortable 2-0 win over Fulham at St Mary's Stadium.

First-half goals from Rickie Lambert and Jay Rodriguez lift Southampton to third in the table. Mauricio Pochettino's side have the best defensive record in the league with only three goals conceded in nine matches.

Norwich City and Cardiff City drew 0-0 in the other league fixture played Saturday.

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